Leadership Resiliency and Why It Matters

Leadership Resiliency and Why it Matters

Resiliency is a leadership game-changer. Our ability to recover from critical feedback, unmet expectations and failed outcomes is the difference between thriving and languishing in leadership.

If asked whether you want to win or lose, I think most of us would say we want to win as leaders. No one sets out hoping their leadership declines over time…let, my leadership influence has been negatively impacted during seasons of low-resiliency.

What can low resiliency cause? I think it has several ripple effects, but here are three easy-to-identify ripples that feed into each other. If you can tackle one of these, you’re set to arrest all three and turn them around.

Ripple #1: Feeds a Negative Perspective. One outcome of low-resiliency is your outlook on your circumstances. It’s impossible to have low-resiliency and a positive perspective at the same time. They can’t coexist. In fact, your perspective feeds your resiliency and your resiliency feeds your perspective.

Ask yourself: What leadership challenge are you tempted to sweep under the rug, right now? Why are you tempted to ignore it? Do you have hope for a great outcome? Are you uncertain you can lead toward that outcome? 

These questions can uncover a leadership opportunity that you are ignoring. And though I understand the temptation to ignore it, let me challenge you. Ignoring it never brings resolution. Looking the other way and leaving the opportunity unaddressed will only make it worse.

Ripple #2: Erodes Vision. One of the first things to erode with a negative perspective is vision. You can’t embrace a vision for tomorrow when your outlook on today is in the toilet. It’s hard to get excited about what the future holds when you feel like your present situation is impossible.

Ask yourself: How have I communicated vision today? What level of conviction do others feel from me?

You can’t lead others toward a vision you aren’t actively pursuing. And I’m not sure how you can pursue a vision fervently that you don’t believe you can obtain.

Ripple #3: Declining Effectiveness. When you see your current situation as impossible and can’t embrace a compelling vision for the future, your ability to lead other is on the ropes. You simply cannot effectively lead others from here to there without these two critical skills: Hope for what can be done in the present and a Vision for what could be in the future.

Ask yourself: Who do I lead that can give me loving feedback on my ability to communicate Hope for today and a Vision for tomorrow?

Willingness to open yourself up to feedback is one of the most vulnerable things you can do. And yet it holds the potential to take your leadership to a new level. It takes courage. But the gain is worth the risk.

Here’s the thing. This isn’t a question of whether or not we are resilient. Everyone has a measure of resiliency. The question is, how strong is your resiliency?

Like a muscle in your body, resiliency can weaken or strengthen over time depending on how we exercise it. So, if you’ve discovered your resiliency is low then you can do something about it.

Next week I’ll share three steps you can take to build your resiliency muscle.

For a great resource on building resiliency and other leadership skills, check out our new book, Don’t Quit.

This article originally appeared here.